A lot of trainers are tiring of standard solutions for fixing our broken
relationship with food. Yet if you look around the industry for examples
of gyms winning the long-term food battle, you’re likely to come up
short. The more you search, the more you find the same answers:
supplements, bars, shakes and fixed meal plans. Some gyms offer a “free
nutrition consultation,” but few pay much attention to the long-term
educational process required to change behavior and get people eating
Time and again, fitness professionals’ biggest frustration comes down to
our clients’ diets. We know clients can’t improve their fitness, burn
fat and enjoy great health without getting food right. We know that when
they eat better, results come more quickly and we look like rock stars.
So if food behaviors are so vital to the long-term success of our
clients, our careers and gyms everywhere, why don’t we teach more
about real food—the right way to prepare it and the right way to eat it?
An innovative way to build a unique community environment within a fitness facility is to host a community dinner right on the training floor. No kidding: In the middle of the dumbbells, kettlebells and cardio machines, we set up the white-cloth tables, chairs, silverware and a few candles to add the right touch for five-star dining.
Picture the faces of your clients as they walk into your facility and take in the dining experience that awaits them—the smell of fresh local veggies, farmraised meats and possibly some local bottled wine. This is one of the best ways to gain momentum for creating a healthy and sustainable eating change within the community.
This “long, slow, healthy dinner” is also one of the best tools for developing friendships with others from the community who are on the same journey.
Recreating the restaurant experience within our facilities forms a true community environment. It’s as if time almost stands still on the gym floor. Clients begin letting down their guard, shifting emotional baggage to the side. Trust, openness and vulnerability develop.
To read more about the steps you can take to create a teaching kitchen in your space, please see “Building a Teaching Kitchen in a Studio” in the online IDEA Library or in the July-August 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.